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Created: 14 June 2016 | Last Updated: 14 June 2016 | Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version | Make Text Smaller Make Text Larger |

Teaching Unions Caution on Local Authority Reorganisation

Wednesday 15 June 2016

Scotland’s two largest teaching unions, the EIS and the SSTA, have urged caution over the potential reorganisation of education provision to a regional-based model.

Looking ahead to the Scottish Government's national education summit today, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "It is clear that the last thing Scottish Education needs at the present time is structural reorganisation.

"This would be a huge distraction and frankly a waste of resources and I would caution the new Cabinet Secretary against such a move."

"Regionalisation should be about enabling teacher dialogue, networking and collaboration to enhance education provision in schools, he said, rather than about a turf war between Scottish Government and Local Authorities, much of which is largely budgetary driven."

"He continued, In terms of the role of local authorities, the EIS has long held the view that local accountability is important and that local authorities help to fulfil that function."

"The EIS believes that it is essential that Councils remain as the employers, and that both the SNCT and LNCTs remain as the negotiating frameworks for teachers. Teachers have lost those types of frameworks in England and we don't want to follow suit."

"That is not to say that there isn't space for looking at the dynamics of how schools are supported effectively. Additional funding direct to schools would be welcome if it helps ring-fence education spending, is accountable to teachers, and does not create additional workload pressures for school leaders."

Seamus Searson, SSTA General Secretary, commented, "The 750M for the Attainment Challenge is welcome, as is the intention to involve more local authorities and including secondary schools.

"However, the Attainment Challenge needs to focus on the family and support the family before, during and after formal education. Local Authorities are best placed to bring these services to work together; the government should seek to foster 'joined-up' thinking."

"There is a need for a sustainable education system with local authorities entrusted and responsible for schools. However, some government suggestions may undermine local democratic authority control and could threaten the gains already achieved."

"All education systems need to continuously evaluate their actions and identify improvements. It is not necessary to create a new system. There is a danger that change is made for changes sake and could destabilise the system that would then take a long time to recover."